The last-minute budget deal to avert a government shutdown is popular with the public, and while many analysts see House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) as the big winner in the fight, Tea Party leaders disagree. The Tea Party Patriots dismissed Boehner's deal as an inadequate "hollow victory," and Judson Phillips of Tea Party Nation derided Boehner as a "go-along, get-along Republican" who "doesn't have stomach for a fight." Phillips and other Tea Partiers are so upset that they're threatening to unseat Boehner through a 2012 primary challenge. Empty words or real threat?
The Tea Party can and will fire Boehner: After the speaker's repeated, craven caving to the Democrats, "the Tea Party has been sold out," says Michael Snyder at The American Dream. And if Tea Partiers are sincere about their "core issue," government spending, "then they must hold John Boehner accountable and go after his seat during the next primary season." I mean, $38 billion in cuts? That's not fiscal leadership, it's folding "like a $20 suit."
"Fire John Boehner — America watched Boehner fold like a $20 suit..."
The Tea Party is all talk: If this verbal "venom" is the only price Boehner pays for saving his party from a government shutdown, he "should probably rest easy," says Stephanie Mencimer in Mother Jones. Phillips, for example, may talk tough, but he'd "have trouble getting 20 people to show up at a Tea Party [rally] in his hometown." Any plan to oust the most powerful Republican in the country can't be taken seriously.
"Can Judson Phillips really 'primary Boehner'?"
Tea Partiers have already weakened Boehner — and themselves: Boehner needs to worry about now, not 2012, says Juan Williams in The Hill. With the Tea Party "wrapped around his neck like an albatross," Republicans are heading into the next round of budget talks looking like "reckless and shallow" zealots hooked on "hysterical stunt governing." The only winners from the Tea Party histrionics are the Democrats — a "weakened Boehner" won't get such a good deal next time.
"Speaker Boehner in the temple of Tea Party doom"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- What is Molly? Everything you need to know about the party drug
- America created the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria? Meet the ISIS 'truthers'
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Russia's giant spy ship was a high-tech disaster waiting to happen
- How American businessmen are ruining American business — and the U.S. economy
- The Obama era is over. The presidency continues.
- On ISIS, neocons and liberal hawks have a 'boy who cried wolf' problem
- How to stop misogynists from terrorizing the world of gamers
- 10 things you need to know today: September 2, 2014
- How Harry Houdini escaped death
Subscribe to the Week